Distributed August 11, 2000
For Immediate Release
News Service Contact: Kristen Cole

Campaign 2000

Brown faculty offers perspectives on aspects of the presidential race

Brown faculty are available to offer perspectives on many issues in the 2000 presidential campaign: the role of television advertising, the influence of special interest groups, the history of American public opinion, and the perspectives of minority groups and young people.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Brown University faculty are available to provide a variety of perspectives on aspects of the 2000 presidential election:

Advertising and election campaigns / Celebrity politics: Darrell West

West is a frequent commentator on the role of television advertising in campaigns, and special-interest spending on communication strategies. He is the author of Air Wars: Television Advertising in Political Campaigns, 1952-1992 (Congressional Quarterly Press, 1993) and, with Burdett A. Loomis, of The Sound of Money: How Political Interests Get What They Want (W. W. Norton, 1998). Most recently he authored the biography Patrick Kennedy: The Rise to Power (Prentice Hall, 2000), which looks at the congressman, celebrity politics and the new generation of Kennedys. West maintains a web site on national and state politics at http://www.InsidePolitics.org/. He is a professor of political science and directs the A. Alfred Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions.

Contact Kristen Cole at (401) 863-2476 or by email

Morals in politics: James Morone

Returning the nation to a “moral center” is a battle cry used by both parties in the current election. Morone’s book Hellfire Nation: The Moral Dimension in American Politics, scheduled for publication by Yale University Press in 2001, discusses moral transgressions throughout history. His research interests include urban politics, health care politics, and citizen participation. About the latter subject, he wrote The Democratic Wish: Popular Participation and the Limits of American Government (Basic Books, 1990; Revised Edition, Yale University Press 1998). Morone is a professor of political science.

Contact Kristen Cole at (401) 863-2476 or by email

Judaism in American society: Shaye Cohen

The selection of Sen. Joseph Leiberman as Al Gore’s running mate marks the first time an Orthodox Jew has appeared on a national ticket. A professor of Judaic studies and religious studies, Cohen researches the social and legal boundaries between Jews and non-Jews, the place of women in Judaism, the status of offspring of intermarriage, and a variety of other factors addressing the question, “Who is a Jew?” Most recently, he wrote The Beginnings of Jewishness (University of California Press, 1999).

Contact Kristen Cole at (401) 863-2476 or by email

Public opinion on the issues: Paul Kellstedt

Kellstedt, assistant professor of political science and public policy, studies the history and current status of American opinion on public policy issues. The role of public opinion in American democracy, opinion trends, and shifts in opinions through time – particularly those about religion – are among his areas of expertise. He has published articles about evangelicals in the post-Reagan era, and white Protestants in the 1988 election. Most recently, he co-authored, “Communication: The Role of Religious Institutions in American Politics,” in the 1998 Encyclopedia of Politics and Religion.

Contact Kristen Cole at (401) 863-2476 or by email

Senate / Special interest groups: Wendy Schiller

Schiller is an authority on the dynamics of the U.S. Senate. She recently wrote Partners and Rivals: Representation in the U.S. Senate Delegations (Princeton University Press, 2000). Schiller also addressed the topic in a recent op-ed “The dangers of Trent Lott’s new regime,” distributed by the University’s op-ed service. In addition, Schiller, associate professor of political science and public policy, researches the role of political parties and interest groups in translating the will of citizens into policies.

Contact Kristen Cole at (401) 863-2476 or by email

Minority vote and school reform: Marion Orr

The candidates are trying to cultivate an inclusive image to attract voters to their respective parties. Orr, associate professor of political science, can discuss the minority vote and the work by candidates to attract Hispanic and black voters. He specializes in race and politics, particularly as it relates to school reform in large American cities. He recently authored Black Social Capital: The Politics of School Reform in Baltimore, (University of Kansas, 1999) and co-authored The Color of School Reform: Race, Politics and the Challenge of Urban Education (Princeton University Press, 1999).

Contact Kristen Cole at (401) 863-2476 or by email

What young people think: Susan Graseck

As director of the Choices Education Project at Brown’s Watson Institute for International Studies, Graseck supervises a nationwide public policy curriculum service for high school social studies. The Choices Project samples opinions of high school students after they have worked through a “mini-curriculum” on various public policy issues. Graseck and her colleagues can speak about what school students under age 18 think about America and its role in world affairs. Additional information available on the Web.

Contact Kristen Cole at (401) 863-2476 or by email

American political history: Gordon Wood

Wood is an authority on our country’s earliest days and has lectured at the White House on the American presidency. His research focuses on the origins and development of American society in the colonial period. In his Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Radicalism of the American Revolution (Vintage Books, 1991), Wood described the momentous impact of the American Revolution on human relations and present-day America.

Contact Kristen Cole at (401) 863-2476 or by email

The Presidency: Elmer Cornwell

Cornwell’s areas of expertise include the origins and evolution of the current presidency, the role of the presidency and the presidential institution in the American political policy-making system. He is professor of political science, former parliamentarian for the Rhode Island House of Representatives, frequent consultant to a variety of state government offices and community organizations, and an authority on Rhode Island politics.

Contact Kristen Cole at (401) 863-2476 or by email